117 people are learning this skill right now!
Product Sense (also called Product Intuition, or Product Judgement) is the ability to accurately predict what a product needs to do to effectively solve problems for customers. Like any skill, you can improve it with practice.
Product Sense is part of our Product Management Career Leveling Framework. Explore next steps in your career from this industry-standard model.
What is Product Sense?Before we get into whether product sense can be learned and how to learn it, we have to understand what it is. Shreyas defines product sense as "the ability to make correct decisions even when faced with considerable ambiguity". Below, Jules defines it similarly: "Product sense is the skill of consistently being able to craft products (or make changes to existing products) that have the intended impact on their users."
- How to Improve your Product SenseShreyas defines the key elements of product sense (Empathy, Domain Knowledge, and creativity), and then explains how to improve it. Shreyas argues for talking to lots of users and partners. He also adds another way to learn it: by developing a deep understanding of psychology, including cognitive biases and behavioral economics.
Can Product Sense be Learned?While some people may have a natural inclination towards Product Sense, research suggests that it can be learned and improved upon through deliberate practice and exposure to diverse perspectives.
- Product Judgment: How some people can repeatedly create product successPaul argues that yes, some PMs are better than others at making decision that lead to product success. But it's not something you're born with. You acquire it by talking to and observing customers over time. It is has limits: it can be transferrable across similar domains, but is less likely to transfer across different domains.
How to Learn Product SenseTo develop Product Sense, one should focus on building Empathy for the customer, staying curious and open-minded, seeking feedback, and continuously learning and experimenting. Mentors, case studies, and cross-functional collaboration can also aid in the development of Product Sense.
- How to Learn Product SenseJackie explains that product sense can be trained and practiced, like most skills. She provides 5 activities to learn it: 1) Document product goals 2) Product teardowns 3) Read product reviews 4) Apply learnings from one product category to another 5) Learn from the successes and failures of other products
- How to develop product senseJules' guide on how to develop product sense covers: • What exactly is product sense? 🤔 • Observe people interacting with products 🕵🏾 • Deconstruct everyday products 👨🏾🔧️ • Learn from great product thinkers 📓 • Be curious about changes in technology and your domain📱 • How to tell if you’re getting better at product sense 📈